NGOs, the attack on Oxfam’s credibility and the accidental coincidences

16.02.2018 - Aram Aharonian

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NGOs, the attack on Oxfam’s credibility and the accidental coincidences

Oxfam, the Non-Governmental Organization, the same organization that in recent weeks had launched a devastating report on inequality in the world, has been left with its once high reputation on the ground, following a synchronized attack by the hegemonic press.

It is not about defending the disfunction of the NGO and its officials, but about making sure that only those who do not follow the scripts of the powerful are persecuted. The big NGOs have the same sins as the United Nations and the big corporations that send part of their staff to poor countries.

The Oxfam report noted that the crisis of inequality is worsening: 82% of the world’s wealth generated during the past year went into the hands of the richest 1% of the world’s population, while the poorest 50% -3. 700 million people- did not benefit in the least from said “growth”.

Our failed economic model is widening the gap between rich and poor. This model allows the wealthiest to continue to accumulate immense fortunes while hundreds of millions of people are undermined in their fundamental rights and have to struggle every day to survive with poverty wages, especially women, it added. Obviously the powerful did not like it.

When conservative politics return to power there are two budgets they eliminate or try to minimize: the social rights of citizens and development aid, always with the support of the local and transnational press. And while these denunciations take place, the international weakening of multilateralism is observed, the only way capable of curbing the risk of the use of cooperation as a business.

The truth is that NGOs in Latin America not only infiltrate ideologically the popular sectors – penetration from below and inside – with which they work directly in self-help and microenterprise development projects, in schools, neighborhoods, cooperatives, marginal communities, rural areas, factories, but also infiltrate ideologically the cadres of organizations and these, potentially qualified to invigorate the popular movement, give it political-ideological training and become promoters and companions of political-social change.

Local activity, an emblem of NGO action, is an ideological trap, since it dismantles the popular movement through false paradigms such as “helplessness” and also through competition for financial resources. And it works in parallel with the hegemonic project, because it allows the neoliberal regimes, transnationals and international financial entities to dominate macro-economic policy and channel most of the State’s resources as subsidies to export capital and to the payment of the external debt.

Oxfam International, a federation of civilian humanitarian organizations, is accused of violations committed by some of its members in South Sudan and Liberia, as well as members of its mission to Haiti after the earthquake that struck that nation in 2010 hiring prostitutes with money from the humanitarian organization itself.

Meanwhile, the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) admitted that during the past year it has registered 24 cases of sexual harassment or abuse and 146 complaints of harassment in general. Therefore, 19 people were dismissed and another five sanctioned with various disciplinary measures. The count does not include the cases directly managed by the teams in the field and not reported to the headquarters.

Various foundations and NGOs have been identified by public scrutiny, even subjected to judicial processes, because they worked, in fact, as a screen for the commission of crimes, some of them serious. Others have been denounced as façade institutions for political and propaganda purposes of various governments, and some others, as instruments for the realization of fraud and diversion of resources, points out the Mexican newspaper La Jornada.

Oblivious to all control and all regulation, some of these organizations arrogate to themselves the power to judge and condemn governments, companies, media and partisan formations, using the mantle of purity in which they have previously been covered, it adds.

Oxfam, Malcorra, the Clintons

Oxfam, which receives millions of euros from British and European institutions, and thousands of people, commissioned Helen Evans in 2012 to set up a mechanism to receive and process complaints about cases of sexual exploitation and all kinds of abuses such as those that occurred in 2010 in Haiti (relations with prostitutes and rape accusations) and several years before in Chad.

After leaving Oxfam, Evans communicated her findings to the Charity Commission (public body that oversees the NGOs and charities) and the Ministry of Cooperation. The Oxfam scandal will be used by all those who believe that development aid is wasteful.

The concealment existed: when the man who organized parties with prostitutes in Haiti agreed to leave and was able to find employment in another NGO that also sent him to Bangladesh. Seven years before the events in Haiti, that same man, Roland van Hauwermeiren, had been responsible for similar acts in Liberia, with another NGO.

But a similar event involving UN peacekeepers and the DAAT, responsible for cooperating with the deployment of the UN “peace missions” around the world (the then Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, accused of covering up sexual abuse of children in Africa) did not have the same treatment.

Anders Kompass, veteran Swedish human rights fighter and until then UN Field Operations Director, resigned after presenting an internal document denouncing the abuse documented by Unicef ​​of 16 children in the Central African Republic by the troops French Peace Corps and not having a single answer.

Both The Guardian and Foreign Policy pointed directly to the negligence of Malcorra and the UN high command to deal with this case, suspicions that increased when the world organization Aids-Free World leaked an interchange of internal UN mails between Malcorra, the person in charge of the Ethics Office Joan Dubinsky and the Deputy General Secretary of Internal Oversight Services Carman LaPointe, in which they planned how to deal with and diminish the impact of the Kompass accusations: an attempt to cover up at Machiavellian level.

A month earlier, Malcorra had organized a meeting in Turin, Italy, with Dubinsky, Lapointe and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, where the plan to cover up the scandal was designed.

German judge Thomas Laker, of the UN Dispute Court, decided months after the suspension of Kompass it was “prima facie illegal” and before such pressure, the then Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon appointed an independent panel of three judges, who carried out the investigation. The resolution was clear: there was a “serious institutional failure, to pass the investigation -of violations- from table to table without stopping to study it”, and pointed to the responsibility of Malcorra. But there was no scandal of the dimensions of Oxfam.

The never-cleared death of former Haitian Klaus Eberwein who was to appear before the Ethics and Anticorruption Committee of the Senate of this country to declare against the Clinton Foundation for the appropriation of international donations by billions of dollars for humanitarian aid, but never reached the island.

It was not until 2016 that US media began to address a problem that Haitians have raised for years: that Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill had a terrible record in Haiti, where they have manipulated elections, poorly targeted earthquake reconstruction funds and undermined Haitian sovereignty.

The Washington Post reviewed how Secretary of State Clinton “pressured then-President René Préval with the loss of US and international aid unless the election results changed to conform to the OAS recommendation” (his), and that was how Michel Martelly came to power.

In June 2011, Haïti Liberté, in association with the magazine The Nation, began to publish a series that analyzed about 2,000 WikiLeaked secret cables, which among other facts indicated that “even before the Haitian government authorized it, Washington began to deploy 22,000 troops in Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, although officials of the US embassy said there was no serious security problem.”

The article “Washington supports famous brand contractors” explained how the Clinton State Department continued the policy of George W. Bush to work “closely with factory owners hired by Levi’s, Hanes and Fruit of the Loom to aggressively block a miser increase in the minimum wage for workers in the area, the lowest paid in the hemisphere. ”

To conclude, one of Hillary’s brothers, Tony Rodham, is in charge of a major gold mine on the island and has a contract for 26 years, after – together with his partners – he proposed a project to rebuild homes by a value of 22 million dollars after he proposed a housing reconstruction project with funds from the Clinton Foundation.

The role of NGO-ism

Since the 1980s, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have spread throughout the world, opening an important political, cultural and socio-economic space, practically in every corner of the planet. It is estimated that there are currently more than 10 million NGOs on the planet.

In India, for example, there is one NGO per 600 people. In order to achieve this, the globalized media highlighted day by day their role in education, the fight against poverty and illiteracy, the protection of the environment, the promotion of civil liberties, the protection of human rights, etc., but they hid its dark side. When their action bothers them, the scandals arrive.

There are approximately 40,000 NGOs subsidized by the US and European governments and created for the specific purpose of being instruments of the globalizers of Washington and Brussels.

The idea of ​​creating non-governmental organizations that could be used by intelligence services for the creation of social networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America for the purpose of promoting American interests emerged at the end of the first half of the 20th century, but it was only launched in 1961, driven by the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, when the US Agency was created by an executive order. US for Development (Usaid).

The American William A. Douglas in Developing Democracy (1972) noted that people in developing countries were like “children” who needed “a tutelage, regulation and control by the US government.” For Douglas, the process of global transformation could not be done through governments, it was necessary to create grassroots organizations in every place of the planet under the control of specialized American agencies.

These grassroots organizations in the 1980s took the form of non-governmental organizations that, under the control of the State Department, had to destabilize governments not related to US policy through subtle work, concealing their subversive purposes with some real programs like the fight against extreme poverty.

At the same time, it was precisely USAID that sent the famous American torture specialist Dan Mitrione to Brazil in 1960-1967, the Dominican Republic in 1965 and Uruguay in 1969-1970. USAID also actively participated in all the coups and attempted coups that took place in Africa, Asia and Latin America from 1961 until now, in close collaboration with the CIA, the MIS (Military Intelligence Service), the FBI, the DEA , the NSA (National Security Agency), etc.

While the Soviet Union and the socialist camp existed, USAID, along with other NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), did everything possible to contain the ideological influence of the USSR, being ideological and operative missionaries of the empire during the Cold War.

The revelations about the participation of the CIA and its covert organization, Usaid, in the murder of Patricio Lumumba in the Congo, in the death of Salvador Allende in Chile and in hundreds of attacks against Fidel Castro forced the NED to be put out of operation in 1983.

Its creator, Georgetown professor Allen Weinstein, was more specific when he declared in 1991: “The great number of tasks that we fulfilled today were 25 years ago the responsibility of the CIA.” A few years earlier, in 1986, the first director of the NED, Carl Gershman, recognized that his organization was a facade of the CIA.

Colophon

There are no coincidences. There is no doubt about the violations carried out by members of NGOs, UN peacekeepers, and the United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (UNSTAMIH). But the broadside against Oxfam is more like a demonstration of strength by the world’s powerful against those who denounce the inequality and inequities of their model of plunder and subjection.

Categories: Human Rights, International issues, Opinions
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